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by NYMetroParents Staff

Related: finding the right sleepaway camp, sleepaway camps in the new york area, the right camps for your kid, when to sign up for camp,

Maine Camp Experience offers tips on when exactly to visit camps, what to look for when researching, and how to decide whether the camp is right for your child and family.

Summer camp expert and author Jill Tipograph, founder of Everything Summer®, who consults with families and has appeared on NBC's Today Show and in The New York Times amongst numerous other media, agrees with these tips from Maine Camp Experience and adds, "Families who take time to tour camps are often most comfortable with their decision because they have visited firsthand. They have 'kicked the tires,' met the key people running camp and are confident their child is ready to go." Happy Kids

To experience some of the best summer camps in America, Maine Camp Experience, a community of camps in Maine that is dedicated to providing children with the highest quality summer camp experiences, shares the "why" and "how" for visiting and selecting the right camp now.

Why Visit?

  • You cannot replicate what you observe and experience at summer camp versus watching a video, reading a brochure, receiving information by phone, or meeting with a director in your home.

  • A significant number of families do this due diligence. If you take time to visit, you have a longer planning cycle to get your child (and you) ready for camp.

  • Families can wisely explore the area that they and their children may be spending the next several years—especially if there are siblings—and assess vacation destination possibilities … not to mention memories they will create!

Why Now?

  • Visiting summer camps is a time sensitive process. Families can only see camp in operation seven weeks (and often opening and final weeks are closed to visits)—now is the time to book by phone or email and go!

  • Families should decide in the prior summer which camp they will choose so they are ready to book once enrollment periods open. Many age groups fill by middle-to-end of September.

  • Some camps may offer added value benefits for touring and booking early.


  • Ideally take a private—not group—tour so you can see as much of the camp as possible in action and get to clearly assess the camp and director(s).

  • Observe and chat with campers one-on-one who are close in age to your child now as well as those who are 5 or more years older since that's whom your child may emulate and grow to resemble later.

  • Look at where your child will live. You should overlook some bunk messiness but not poorly maintained facilities.

  • Learn about the quality and type of activities, instruction and programming. Ascertain if programming is scheduled by the camp, chosen by the camper, or a mixture of the two.


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